Moving house and sleeping on the floor takes me right back to the young nights, when I would plug in a cassette tape or CD and lie on the floor; my heart beating fast, waiting for New Music to flood my life and mind forever. I would have the same tape for weeks. Until I could tell the song from the opening intro. And then the tape would be safely filed away. Until long after, when I longed for a particular track or voice and pulled it out. And noticed the dust that had collected on the cover.
Packing all of your belongings suddenly compresses memories long buried and forgotten, and puts them into the same space as the ones you tap into often. You remember how you felt when you played a song for the first time. Or why you replayed it. What you were doing. How the floor felt as you lay on it. How the trees swayed while the ants passed by. The short-hand that is music acts like your head’s personal spool. And your past feels more coherent. More whole.
Of course, technology today allows for you to do this everytime you turn on your iPod and hit shuffle on your entire playlist. Chances are though, that you won’t come across that particular album or song. Or be patient enough to wait for it. Because unlike sifting through a box, an iPod follows mathematical randomness. It doesn’t care if you cried to a TEB song it just skipped past, or that you never cared much for Daft Punk. Sometimes its a heady trip, sometimes its crap.
But move houses often enough, or maybe just redecorate and re-arrange and I promise you, you will be amazed at the things you find that are covered with dust physically, but virtually untouched in that magic box inside by anything the Universe can throw at it.